The Nigerian army has accused Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike, of attempting to compromise its integrity by attempting to bribe a military chief during the conduct of the 2019 general elections in the state on Saturday. The Army’s comments through its acting spokesman, Sagir Musa, was in response to Wike’s accusation that the Army had tried to assassinate him.
Allegation: “It is indeed no secret to the military authorities that Governor Wike has on various occasions made attempts to compromise the integrity of the GOC 6 Division, Maj Gen Jamil Sarham. Having failed, despite series of overtures and monetary pledges of millions of dollars, both in person and from cronies, it is no surprise that the frustrated Governor has resorted to this appalling campaign of calumny,” the Army statement said.
But did the Army try to assassinate Wike: “The Nigerian Army does not train assassins, as such the institution or her personnel cannot be involved in sending assassins to murder a state governor as alleged by Gov Nyesom Wike.”
The army maintained its neutrality with regards to the elections and challenged the governor to prove his allegations within seven days or keep his peace.
Wike’s response: The governor is standing by his allegation. Speaking through the state’s Commissioner for Information, Emma Okah, the governor accused the Army of attempted cover-up in order to divert focus from its “evil” activities in the state.
- The Army wants to help the APC rig: “You have seen what happened yesterday. You have seen how innocent people were being killed for nothing. You have seen how military people are sacking all the collation centres, everywhere in Rivers state, and taking control, in order to rig the elections for the APC.”
- Soldiers were holding INEC officials and others hostage in Isiokpo, Ikwerre Local Government Area, since Saturday, in an attempt to manipulate election results in the area to favor the All Progressive Congress (APC), at the behest of Wike’s rival and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi. “PDP won at all the units in Ikwerre, we have all the results. Amaechi is the one bringing all the soldiers,” he said.
Bottom Line: The two sides are making claims without evidence. So apparently the Army expects Nigerians to believe that Wike has been attempting to bribe such a top official and it kept quiet all these while, waiting for him to accuse it first before releasing the info. Doesn’t ring very true.